Mechanical Barriers to Communication

Mechanical barriers stem from problems in machinery or instruments used in communication.
••• Hanging Television Cables image by Van Ness from <a href=''></a>

Mechanical communication barriers are technical sources of interference in the communication process. A mechanical barrier stems from a problem in machinery or instruments used to transmit the message. This is not limited to media forms such as radio and television; it also includes machines used by those with hearing or speech impairments. Examples of mechanical communication barriers are noisy communication machines or instruments, absence of means of communication instruments, transmission interruption and power failure.


Mechanical communication tools require maintenance.
••• nixies image by Albert Lozano from <a href=''></a>

Mechanical instruments and machines require constant maintenance. Over time and with regular use, their ability to properly function breaks down. Noisy reception interferes with their use as communication tools. Defects in the machinery may also cause noise that creates a mechanical communication barrier.

Transmission Interruption

Communication often involves a transmitted signal.
••• a snowy reception image by Jeannine Comeau from <a href=''></a>

There are many forms of transmitted communication; email, fax machines, pagers, cell phones, citizen band radios, single sideband radio, VHF radios and satellite communication. All of these operate by receiving a transmitted signal. If for any reason there is an interruption in receiving the signal. there is also an interruption in the service. The duration and frequency of interruptions are based on the source of the signal. These interruptions are mechanical communication barriers.

Absence of Means

Mechanical tools are used for mass communication or person communication.
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Often poverty causes an absence of means to vital instruments and machines used as tools in communication. Sometimes these tools are for mass communication, such as televisions, radios, and telephones. Other times these tools are used for personal communication, such as hearing aids, amplifiers, signaling devices, Braille and special needs telephones, magnifiers, and TTY (Text Telephone) or TDD (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf) machines. Without these tools there is a mechanical communication barrier.

Power Failure

Power failures impact communication.
••• element electric power black image by Leonid Nyshko from <a href=''></a>

Electrically generated devices used in communication are only useful tools if there is a steady source of power. Western countries often take electricity for granted. Isolated locations and underdeveloped countries may depend on electricity that is generated by a single source. Power failures may mean a longer period without communication in areas such as these. Any power failure may cause a mechanical communication barrier.

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